Japan earthquake death toll rises to 161on January 8, 2024 at 6:08 am

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Efforts to reach thousands of people living in cut off areas continue a week after

Police officers search for victims of the recent earthquake in JapanImage source, Reuters

The death toll from Japan’s devastating New Year’s Day earthquake has risen from to more than 160, authorities say.

Efforts are continuing to find more than 100 people who remain missing a week later.

But bad weather is hampering rescuers- with heavy rain and snow triggering warnings of landslides and building collapses.

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the remote Noto peninsula – toppling buildings and sparking a major fire.

The majority of the deaths have happened in the hard-hit cities of Wajima and Suzu.

Meanwhile, the number of people missing has dropped from 195 to just over 100. The death toll has jumped from the 120 reported on Sunday.

More than 2,000 people are reportedly still cut off due to massive damage to roads. Several others are living in emergency shelters.

The Japanese military has been handing out supplies including food, water and blankets for those who have had to vacate their homes.

The defence ministry said in a statement on Sunday that it had sent nearly 6,000 troops out to help with the relief mission.

They added that they believe there are still people alive who need rescue and vowed to continue their lifesaving operations despite the ending of a critical 72 hour window to find survivors.

Stories of miraculous recoveries have been emerging. A woman in her 90s was found alive under rubble five days in Suzu.

Those in the worst-affected areas are being urged to keep their guard up as they continue to experience further quakes.

As of early Monday local time, more than 1,200 tremors had been recorded since New Year’s Day, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reports.

Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, and activity has been increasing around Noto since the end of 2020.

More than 500 small and medium earthquakes have hit there over the past three years.

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